Zambian on Friday announced a ban on the harvest and export of an endangered timber species, Mukula.
Elijah Muchima, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources said the suspension was with immediate effect and that the move has been taken to verify the documentation of traders exempted from the initial ban done in 2017 and the impact.
He told reporters during a press briefing that the government was concerned that Mukula trees have continued to be harvested and exported in excess of the authorized amounts.
“The measures will allow the government to come up with a mechanism that will be fair and inclusive,” he said.
According to him, the trading in Mukula timber was banned in 2017 except for four exemptions but the ministry was concerned about an increase in exports.
The government, he said, wanted to take stock and scrutinize documentation for Mukula trading, adding that there were currently containers at some border entries detained.
Stakeholders have been raising concerns at the continued trade in the much-sought-after Mukula trees, whose scientific name is Rosewood which has a huge market as it is mostly used in furniture making as well as gun making. Enditem